From volleys to free-kicks and headers, we bring you the best strikes from the country’s two elite competions.
The 2017-18 season of Indian football saw memories and history being made. Some scintillating football from Bengaluru FC throughout the season, Minerva Punjab making history by winning the I-League and the inaugural Super Cup where the I-League clubs locked horns with their ISL counterparts.
Apart from all other things, the recently-concluded season saw some exceptional goals being scored. From Gerson Viera’s goal against Jamshedpur FC to Rahul KP’s against Mumbai City FC, we saw several quality goals being netted. We at Khel Now try to take a look at five of them.
5. Mailson Alves against Bengaluru FC
Bengaluru FC were the favourites to win the ISL final as they were in a scintillating form. But, Chennaiyin FC believed they could do the unthinkable as they had done previously. The game was evenly poised until Mailson failed to meet Udanta Singh’s cross, which Sunil Chhetri headed straight into the net. Bengaluru FC 1-0 Chennaiyin FC!
Mailson made all the difference for Chennaiyin in the ISL final against Bengaluru
However, Mailson didn’t take too long to equalise and make up for his previous mistake. He headed from a corner in the 17th minute to bring Chennaiyin level.
Then, It was shortly before the half-time whistle that Chennaiyin won themselves yet another corner and yet another opportunity for Mailson to inflict more misery on the Blues.
Mailson this time, overcame challenges from long-throw specialist Rahul Bheke and the tall Juanan to head home his anf his team’s second. The header was so powerful that there was nothing Gurpreet Singh Sandhu could do about it as he was forced to be a spectator as the ball went into the net.
4. Samuel Lalmuanpuia against East Bengal
It was the first away league game for Shillong, and it was against East Bengal at the Barasat Stadium. East Bengal were coming into the game after losing to arch-rivals Mohun Bagan, and nothing less than a thumping victory could have given the fans reason to cheer.
Samuela scored a brilliant free kick against East Bengal
Things happened as they were written in the fortunes of Shillong. Lajong let themselves down with some dreadful defending as East Bengal scored five goals past them. Then came the moment for Samuel Lalmuanpuia.
Daniel Odafin won his side a free-kick on the edge of the box in the 87th minute, which was taken well by club captain Samuela. It was a right-footed curler that stunned the crowd and won applause from them.
3. Sunil Chhetri against East Bengal
It was a clash between two heavyweights of Indian football in the final of the Super Cup. East Bengal faced Bengaluru in a game that saw old rivals go toe-to-toe against each other after both had come under scrutiny for not being able to win their respective leagues.
Chhetri’s stunner helped Bengaluru defeat East Bengal in the inaugural Super Cup
Then came the moment when captain fantastic Sunil Chhetri stood tall against the taller and physically superior East Bengal defenders to put the final nail in the Red and Gold’s coffin. Bheke made a strong run down the right flank and chipped the ball over the defenders to reach his captain.
2. Wellington Priori’s goal against NorthEast United
Wellington Priori is an ex-NorthEast United player. This season he played for Steve Coppell coached Jamshedpur FC. When NEUFC welcomed the Men of Steel to their home, the two teams played a stalemate with both opting for a defensive approach, especially the away side.
Priori’s goal against NorthEast United was one of the most eye-catching goals this season
So, when the return leg was to be played, not many goals were expected from the fixture and it turned out as such. A defensively compact Jamshedpur didn’t let the Highlanders have any chance throughout the fixture. In the 51st minute though, they managed to create a chance for themselves. A throw-in for Jamshedpur down the left wing near the corner saw them score through Wellington Priori.
The ball was thrown excellently well to make sure it reaches Priori who was just in front of the goal. He controlled the ball well and executed his task with an overhead kick to haunt his former team. The goal saw Priori beating a wall of NorthEast defenders without even moving from his position.
1. Nongdamba Naorem against Shillong Lajong
How often do we see a 17-year-old dribble past sixl players in a single run and score a goal? This is exactly what made Naorem’s goal against Lajong a very special one for the Indian football fans.
Naorem’s goal is being considered as the best goal in Indian football this season
The All India Football Federation’s development team Indian Arrows were playing against Shillong in an I-League game. Nongdomba was on the left flank when he was given the ball by a teammate. He decided to take on the defensive line of Lajong alone and scored a goal after dribbling past six of them.
It was a goal that many have described as something brought to the present from the depths of Indian football’s history, a textbook case of dribbling 101 from the past.